Pataphysica 2: Pataphysica E Alchimia, Volume 2
iUniverse, 2004 - Fiction - 204 pages
In the great tradition of Nicolas Flamel and Fulcanelli, the immortal Dr. Faustroll returns to introduce this collection of writings on alchemy, that "secret science" no less mystifying and marvelous than our own art and science, pataphysics. Opening this anthology is Part 1 of Alfred Jarry's delightful last novel, "La Dragonne" (1907), translated from the French as "The She-Dragon," and annotated to highlight some of Jarry's many alchemical allusions. Jarry's comic genius brings to life the inhabitants of a little town in the mountains of Savoy, focusing on gaming activities at and around the local tavern, and an oddly militaristic expectant father. Seven additional writers present their research or reflections on subjects as diverse as Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale, the bizarre Voynich Manuscript, Gustave Kahn's "Tale of Gold and Silence," turn-of-the-20th-century South African statesman Paul Kruger (whose portrait bust appears on the Krugerrand), and symbolic dismemberment; two of these contributors present their work in poetic form, one of them seemingly cursed by alchemy, however benevolently, the other positing seven "easy" steps to completion of the "Great Work." Perhaps you will find yourself entwined somewhere in between, like Mercury's caduceus. For all pataphysicians, alchemists, and symbolists: welcome to the other world.
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